This is an English-speaking only zone

Reflections from teaching in an English-only international school

23rd April 2012

Six weeks ago I started a new teaching job in Myanmar at an international school. The job and the school have surpassed my expectations and one of the most impressive things is that I can use complete sentences in the classroom and give directions in English and the students not only understand, but they respond with great English.

Where will the money go?

Sent in by Cliff

17th March 2012

I retired from my job in the States last year and decided to spend my retirement here in Thailand, teaching Thai people to speak better English among other things. I knew beforehand it would be an uphill battle. I have spent 4 years of my life here, plus another 11 working at a Thai church near my home in the San Diego area, so I was well aware of the difficulties Thai people have with our language. In fact, most of the few Thai people I know who speak it fluently have a very heavy Thai accent.

Culture of insouciance

The Cambodian rubbish dump, and my not so final, final exam

23rd January 2012

Many of the students in my class with their fancy clothes, laptops, I-phones, and I-pads, rarely experience an atmosphere where true learning takes place. Outside of the odd serious teacher they may have encountered along the way, they also live and learn in a rubbish dump, an educational one.

I don’t want to learn!

The biggest teaching hurdle: motivation

2nd December 2011

Motivation in the classroom, both from the teachers and the students, is essential for learning but it is a tricky balance to strike since the two are so interconnected; if the teacher loses motivation, so do the students and if the students lose motivation, so does the teacher.

Let’s all make a difference in Thailand

Make a difference with Design for Change

27th July 2011

You can change the lives of your students and improve the quality of life in Thailand by spending just a few hours a week organizing a Design for Change contest at your school.

The enemy within

The evil side of the TEFL industry

7th March 2011

It is a complicity of silence that sees many foreign teachers working hand-in-glove with a Thai administration that cares only about money and maintaining an educational system mired in cultural backwardness and social repression.

Handling a ‘sanook’ class

How to handle a classroom full of badly-behaved children

13th September 2010

Success in handling naughty students calls for common sense, creativity and resourcefulness on the part of teachers. Furthermore, a lot of reasons that trigger students’ behavior have to be addressed too, for if they are not, problems will surface

Teaching tips

What to do and what not to do in the EFL classroom

23rd August 2010

Regular ajarn contributor Tim Cornwall is back with more tips and techniques for both experienced and inexperienced teachers alike from smiling to laying down class rules and from teacher movement to setting up activities.

A student success story

Helping a Thai student bring home the bacon

1st June 2010

In teaching, we, teachers, must think of an ingenious way to make our students learn using varied types of materials and different kinds of strategies for every student has his/her own learning style.

Great Expectations

When parents of students are simply too demanding

2nd October 2009

The demands and expectations that some parents burden their children with are alas often too great. At the moment I’m teaching a kid who hasn’t even turned six, yet his life revolves solely around learning.

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About Ajarn.com

Ajarn.com was started as a small hobby website in 1999 by Ian McNamara. It was a simple way for one Bangkok teacher to share his Thailand experiences and pass on advice. The website developed a loyal and enthusiastic following. In 2004, Ian handed over the reins to Phil Williams and 'Bangkok Phil' has run the ajarn website ever since.

Ajarn.com has grown enormously and is now the most popular TEFL site in Thailand - possibly even South East Asia. Although best-known for its vibrant jobs page, Ajarn has a wealth of articles, blogs, features and help and advice. But one principle has always remained at Ajarn's core - to tell things like they are and to do it with a sense of humor. Thailand can be Heaven or Hell for an English teacher. It's always been Ajarn.com's duty to present both sides of the equation. Thanks for stopping by.